Author Topic: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨  (Read 370 times)

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Offline _John C

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Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« on: October 17, 2020, 01:55:58 PM »
Anyone else have this problem ? It's less then 3 months old.
The sensor is still working, but I dont think it will last.
Ecowitt GW1000CA,   HP2551CA,   WH65,   WH41 PM2.5,   WH57 Lightning Detector,   WH31 Temp/Hum x8,   WH51 Soil Moisture x8,   WH55 Water Leak x4,   Meteobridge (TL-WR902AC v3),   Da9L PWT x2

Offline Mandrake

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Re: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 02:14:14 PM »
Sorry no, not seen that and mine are 1.5 years old now.
Retired: Old Maplin N96Y/FO Weather station
G1ZFO

Ecowitt HP2551A + WH65 Tri-Wing (Wunderground: IGUILDFO67)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Wunderground: IGUILDFO68)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Mk2) test environment driving CumulusMX on a RPi 3b
Ecowitt WH51 (x6) Soil Moisture Sensor
Ecowitt WH41 PM2.5 AQM Sensor
Ecowitt WH31 (x8) Thermo/Hygro Sensor
Ecowitt WS80 Ultrasonic Anemometer (pre-prod test)
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning Sensor (pre-prod test)
Ecowitt WH32-EP (SHT35)

Offline sky_watcher

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Re: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2020, 03:47:24 PM »
Anyone else have this problem ? It's less then 3 months old.
The sensor is still working, but I dont think it will last.
I have two sensors in the garden for about a year and I have not seen it. I suggest you contact your supplier for a replacement before it dies. I had a problem with another sensor and if my case is any example, they will ask a few questions to ascertain that it actually is a warranty issue and then promptly send a replacement.
“The more a man knows, the more willing he is to learn. The less a man knows, the more positive he is that he knows everything...” ― Robert G. Ingersoll

Offline _John C

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Re: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2020, 04:32:28 PM »
I got it from Ecowitt with 7 other soil sensors all of which I have no problem with. Just 1 out of 8 gone bad. I've just emailed Lucy.
Ecowitt GW1000CA,   HP2551CA,   WH65,   WH41 PM2.5,   WH57 Lightning Detector,   WH31 Temp/Hum x8,   WH51 Soil Moisture x8,   WH55 Water Leak x4,   Meteobridge (TL-WR902AC v3),   Da9L PWT x2

Offline Autofill

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Re: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2020, 11:55:12 AM »
I bought 4 in July of 2020, and noticed one of them has some moisture in the battery compartment. I just emailed Lucy i'm sure she will take care of it.
Ecowitt WH2320-E
Ecowitt HP2551-C
Ecowitt GW1000
Ecowitt WH69E
Ecowitt WH32B
Ecowitt WH57
Ecowitt WH51 (x5)
Ecowitt WH41
Ecowitt WH31 (x8)
Ecowitt WH55 (x4)

Offline Rover1822

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Re: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2020, 01:57:28 PM »
I have 8, I have had issues with water ingress as well on 2 of them. If you look at the top cap that is a quazi bayonet cap, there is an extremely thin imbedded O-ring. Unfortunately I think it's almost useless. I did have some success by applying some plumber's silicone (comes in a tiny tub, available from most hardware stores)  directly over the O-ring (using a Q-Tip) before fastening it down. I do wish there was a more substantial O-ring there, and because of the way the cap fits, you can't really add one as mount style doesn't have the room. I have an assortment of various O-rings that will fit, but not allow the cap to close. If it were a screw  mount cap with a few mm of clearance , I would use one.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 02:05:14 PM by Rover1822 »
Ambient:WS-2000,PM 2.5 x2,WH31B x2, WH40E
EcoWitt: GW1000 x4,WH31 x2,WH57,WH51 x8, WH40,WH5360B
Stratus: Manual rain gauge
Web Sites: WU, Ambient Weather , Ecowitt.net , Ecowitt.net (TEST)
Personal Sites: Weather Cam , Wind & Solar Power Data

Offline _John C

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Re: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2020, 05:17:00 AM »
Lucy sending me a replacement sensor  [tup]

Always a pleasure to deal with.
Ecowitt GW1000CA,   HP2551CA,   WH65,   WH41 PM2.5,   WH57 Lightning Detector,   WH31 Temp/Hum x8,   WH51 Soil Moisture x8,   WH55 Water Leak x4,   Meteobridge (TL-WR902AC v3),   Da9L PWT x2

Offline Autofill

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Re: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2020, 06:29:33 AM »
Likewise. They wanted a picture of the water in the sensor but I didn't take one, and said it'll have to be in the spring now may/June before I can get a picture of it since the sensor is inside now, but still offered a replacement.
Ecowitt WH2320-E
Ecowitt HP2551-C
Ecowitt GW1000
Ecowitt WH69E
Ecowitt WH32B
Ecowitt WH57
Ecowitt WH51 (x5)
Ecowitt WH41
Ecowitt WH31 (x8)
Ecowitt WH55 (x4)

Offline solartempest

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Re: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2020, 03:25:06 PM »
Just exercise caution when using greases on o-rings. The o-rings on my WH51s look like silicone, so if you use a silicone grease the gasket may swell/be damaged and not provide a good seal anymore. Lucy or the Ecowitt engineers should be able to confirm what the gasket is made out of. Personally, I prefer not to add greases as it can be messy.

In the past, for soil moisture sensors (non-Ecowitt) I have used adhesive heat shrink tubing to cover and seal the gap between the housing and battery cap as an extra precaution. The adhesive will provide a good seal against the elements and flow into any irregularly shaped housing spaces.  On those sensors, the manufacturer used a rubber seal so silicone grease would have been compatible.

For the WH51 you can slide on a small piece and gently shrink it to size with a heat gun at fairly low temperature. To remove the heat-shrink you can just carefully cut it off with a knife. You do not need to shrink down a lot, just enough that the adhesive come out of the ends a little. With lithium batteries, you won't have to do this very often at all. All three of my WH51s are in fairly sheltered locations so I haven't been very worried about the small seal on the battery cap.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 03:26:58 PM by solartempest »
Ecowitt GW1000, HP2553BC, WS80, WH51x3, WH41, WH40, WH32, WH31x2.

Offline Rover1822

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Re: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2020, 04:02:54 PM »
Just exercise caution when using greases on o-rings. The o-rings on my WH51s look like silicone, so if you use a silicone grease the gasket may swell/be damaged and not provide a good seal anymore. Lucy or the Ecowitt engineers should be able to confirm what the gasket is made out of. Personally, I prefer not to add greases as it can be messy.

In the past, for soil moisture sensors (non-Ecowitt) I have used adhesive heat shrink tubing to cover and seal the gap between the housing and battery cap as an extra precaution. The adhesive will provide a good seal against the elements and flow into any irregularly shaped housing spaces.  On those sensors, the manufacturer used a rubber seal so silicone grease would have been compatible.

For the WH51 you can slide on a small piece and gently shrink it to size with a heat gun at fairly low temperature. To remove the heat-shrink you can just carefully cut it off with a knife. You do not need to shrink down a lot, just enough that the adhesive come out of the ends a little. With lithium batteries, you won't have to do this very often at all. All three of my WH51s are in fairly sheltered locations so I haven't been very worried about the small seal on the battery cap.

I really do like your solution, and I may try it. As far as the grease, this is why I said plumber's silicone. That may have a different terminology in other areas. I use it routinely on the kegs I use for home brewing which have O-rings everywhere. I obviously can't vouch for the longevity of the application on these rings, but I'm trying it, deal is not to apply a ton of it, you just want to make the surface more hydrophobic.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 04:04:29 PM by Rover1822 »
Ambient:WS-2000,PM 2.5 x2,WH31B x2, WH40E
EcoWitt: GW1000 x4,WH31 x2,WH57,WH51 x8, WH40,WH5360B
Stratus: Manual rain gauge
Web Sites: WU, Ambient Weather , Ecowitt.net , Ecowitt.net (TEST)
Personal Sites: Weather Cam , Wind & Solar Power Data

Offline Boognish

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Re: Soil Moisture sensor water ingress 🤨
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2020, 05:01:29 PM »
I bought 5, same exact thing happened with two of them within a month or two after I got them. Both of mine had died which is how I found out.